2 Filipinos fined for taking plane 'souvenirs'

James Ryan Jonas

Beware of taking “souvenirs” from airplanes — blankets, pillows, life jackets, etc. — or you might be penalized for doing it.
That’s what two Filipinos discovered when they were each fined HK$2,000 (P10,700) for taking with them life jackets from their Cathay Pacific flight from Dubai.
The Inquirer reported that one life jacket only costs HK$400.
The two passengers did not know each other but both had the same urge to take the life jacket under their seats. One of them hid the jacket in his traveling bag while the other wrapped it with a blanket before placing it in a shopping bag.
When their baggages passed through an X-ray machine in Chek Lap Kok International Airport, the airport staff noticed “suspicious objects” in the bags. They were searched and the jackets were found. Cathay Pacific confirmed that the life jackets were indeed missing.
So next time you feel that urge to take with you a “souvenir” from the plane, think twice. It’s definitely not worth it to deal with the monetary fine and the embarrassment.

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.